News

Alinjarra Preschool | Looking Back

By Kyabram Free Press

The state Member for Hawthorn Walter Jona formally opened the Alinjarra Preschool on the corner of Station and Mackie streets in August, 1977.

The council had received advice from the state Health Department that a Commonwealth grant was available for a new preschool centre in Kyabram, which would then make three preschool centres in town.

In 1993, the Victorian Government announced funding cutbacks.

Due to these cutbacks a decision was made by the Kyabram Town Council to close Alinjarra at the end of 1993.

There were angry reactions from parents and a meeting was called where over 250 people attended to discuss the future of the preschool.

Alinjarra had previously been featured in Kyabram’s Premier Town promotional video.

An application was made by Kerrie Sweeney and Geoffrey Cootes to lease the building as a full-time day care centre operating from 7.30am to 6pm, five days a week.

The building was renovated and opened on June 6, 1994 as Tyinyeri Children’s Centre, with Kerrie Sweeney as directress and Heather McLennan as assistant.

It was Kyabram’s first full-time childcare centre.

Tyinyeri Children’s Centre closed in December, 2007, following a lengthy review of childcare services across the region.

The building and land were purchased by Henley Friends Inc in 2013 from the Campaspe Shire.

The group plans to replace the present building with a Supported Accommodation Community Living House for over 55s.

● Compiled by Eileen Sullivan from files of the Free Press.